[reprinted from May 26, 2009]
Pray without ceasing. Â Â 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (WEB)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Â Â Galatians 5:22-23 (WEB)
Like many of you there is a lot going on in my life that requires prayer. I say â€œrequireâ€ because if I did not take it to the Lord in prayer â€“ I would go crazy! It occurs to me as I am writing that Paul may have shared his heart in his letters and in this one to Thessalonica to encourage us to pray all day and every day! Don’t stop!
I have a prayer board in my office. In the middle of the board in large letters is the word ETERNAL. It reminds me in every prayer to keep my eyes forward and listen for God’s eternal words. There are prayer requests and names and pictures all over the board. I could say that the board is all about math. I add people, ministries, and pictures. As I add to the board I acknowledge that person or concern belongs to God and is loved so much by my Lord. I ask God that I never forget that. The blessings that God pours on those I love through prayer are multiplied by His extravagant love in ways I will never know. PRAISE HIM!
I take from the board also as prayers are answered. Some might call that subtraction but in God we are never taken from His hand! I have a ‘season’ of prayer for someone or something and then God moves me on because I am limited but He never is. God is not divided in His attention. He sees each one of His children every day â€“ every night. He does not sleep or grow weary in His vigilance.
As I go through my day, faces come to my mind. I don’t always know why. I may not have seen the person in years. I may not even have good memories of the last time I saw the person. God recalls the Galatian passage about ‘fruit’. I can ask God to bless someone â€“ anyone â€“ with those words! And I ask God to bless me, too!
The branches I am growing on Jesus’ vine grow heavy with fruit as I pray without ceasing. God speaks and as I listen to His voice and allow Him to do His math in my life, I learn. I grow healthy in God’s garden.
You are my Hiding Place by Michael Ledner